Ethan Snyder of the Dublin Jerome boys golf team learned to accept the ups and downs that come with his sport long ago.
Growing up as a member of Scioto Reserve Country Club, the senior and University of Dayton commit remembers driving balls on the course there at a young age.
It didn't take long for him to realize that a lifelong passion -- even when the sport is less than kind in return -- was brewing.
"I fell in love with golf pretty early," Snyder said. "I started playing in tournaments when I was 10. I've always loved it. I love the grind to get better and how it can be such a fickle sport where you're playing good for a month and then it goes away."
The frustrations that can beset a golfer haven't come often for Snyder, who helped the Celtics win back-to-back Division I state championships the past two seasons and helped them wrap up their 16th consecutive league title Sept. 11 at Denison Golf Club.
Jerome shot a 299 in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Cardinal Division tournament that day to finish well ahead of second-place Delaware (322).
The Celtics finished 27-1 in the overall league standings, ahead of Olentangy Berlin (22-6), Hilliard Bradley (20-8), Delaware (19-9), Hilliard Darby (11-17), Worthington Kilbourne (8-20), Thomas Worthington (4-24) and Scioto (1-27).
Jerome's only league loss came in the third round Aug. 28 at Darby Creek, where it shot a 309 to place second to Berlin (303).
Snyder had the second-best average (72.7) in the OCC-Cardinal, behind Berlin's Bryce Reed (70.8), but settled for honorable mention all-league honors because he didn't compete in the first round Aug. 6 at Apple Valley.
Earning first-team all-league honors for the Celtics were junior Jake Yarbrough (75.6), junior Logan Menning (76.5) and junior Tyler Groomes (77.5). Senior Ryan Norkin (77.8) earned second-team honors.
Another regular-season highlight for Jerome took place Aug. 13 when it shot a 295 at The Golf Club of Dublin.
"We're moving in the right direction going into the end of September and into October, which is where we want to be," coach Taylor Harle said.
"(Snyder) obviously leads on the golf course with the way he plays. He does a good job, too, of getting these guys in the right frame of mind for each tournament and making sure we're as focused as possible for each tournament."
Snyder finished 12th (159) in the two-round state tournament last season to miss earning second-team all-state honors by just two strokes.
He competed in the UHY Detroit Junior tournament last month at Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, tying for 16th of 60 golfers, and missed the Celtics' first three events, including the opening round of league play, before returning Aug. 10 for the Cincinnati St. Xavier Invitational at Maketewah.
"My season has been going OK," Snyder said.
"I came back from Detroit and didn't play that great to begin the season, but I'm starting to find it. I feel like my game is trending in the right direction and I'm excited about the future rounds because I feel like my game is in a good spot."
Snyder, who was medalist in the final round of the OCC-Cardinal tournament with a 71, is working on his short game as the regular season winds down.
Jerome will open the postseason Oct. 1 with a sectional at Denison Golf Club, where St. Charles and Upper Arlington also are among the top teams. The top four teams advance to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
"(My biggest goal) was coming back to (help the Celtics try to) win our third state title in a row as a team," Snyder said.
"For me personally, obviously the goal is to win a state title individually. You want to go out at (Ohio State's) Scarlet (Course) and try to play your best."
Girls soccer team out to strong start
The girls soccer team is out to a good start in its pursuit of a ninth consecutive league championship.
The Celtics were 6-1-2 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Sept. 17 at Darby. Their league wins came against Kilbourne (4-0 on Aug. 27), Thomas (3-0 on Sept. 5) and Berlin (3-0 on Sept. 10).
Jerome, which tied New Albany at 4 on Sept. 14, continues league action Tuesday, Sept. 24, at home against Bradley, which was 4-2-2 overall and 3-0 in the league before playing Delaware on Sept. 17. Last season, the Jaguars lost to the Celtics 2-1 and finished second in the league at 5-1-1.
According to coach Kelly Brothers, the team's biggest challenge going forward is to be more consistent.
Senior forward Sophie Magilligan and senior center midfielder/forward Riley Mullady both had seven goals through nine games. Junior midfielder Kirsten Mitchell scored all of Jerome's goals in a 3-0 win over Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 5 and had five on the season before Sept. 17.
"I'm happy with the way we've been playing since our loss in the first game of the season versus Beavercreek (1-0 on Aug. 16)," Brothers said. "We have work to do before (the Division I district tournament), but have already made great progress since the start of the season."
Runners prepping for home meet
The cross country teams will be host to the third annual Celtic Clash on Saturday, Sept. 21.
In last season's meet, the boys team finished third (64 points) of 11 teams behind Jonathan Alder (53) and Hilliard Davidson (64, won tiebreaker) and the girls were fourth (91) of nine teams behind champion Jonathan Alder (49).
On Sept. 13 in the Spartan Invitational at Michigan State, the boys finished 20th (476) of 39 teams behind champion Brighton, Michigan (119).
Senior Elliott Cook led the Celtics with a ninth-place finish (16 minutes, 16.2 seconds) of 329 runners. The only central Ohio runner to finish higher was Thomas Worthington senior Zubin Jha (eighth, 16:10.5).
Cook was followed by sophomore Carson Smith (93rd, 17:37.1), freshman Joshua Razor (103rd, 17:44), sophomore Rishikesh Makineni (134th, 18:01.2) and junior Gunnar Grass (167th, 18:18.8) as 329 runners competed.
The girls finished 17th (489) of 38 teams, behind champion Beavercreek (86).
Sophomore Ava DiMasi led the Celtics, finishing 79th (20:25.2) as 346 runners. She was followed by sophomore Audrey Cook (98th, 20:40), senior Madison Weigle (99th, 20:40.2), freshman Cecilia Martyna (127th, 21:08.2) and junior Lauren Metzger (144th, 21:30.2).
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 21 -- Celtic Clash at home
Sept. 23 -- Home vs. Bexley
Sept. 25 -- At Lancaster
Sept. 21 -- Upper Arlington Masters Invitational at Scioto
Sept. 23 -- Akron Hoban Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 19 -- Upper Arlington Invitational at Brookside
Sept. 21 -- St. Angela Invitational at Maketewah
Sept. 23 -- Hope Classic at Darby Creek
Sept. 24 -- Coffman at Worthington Hills
Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson
*Sept. 24 -- At Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 19 -- At Grove City
*Sept. 24 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 19 -- Home vs. New Albany
Sept. 21 -- At Solon with Mayfield
Sept. 24 -- At Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 25 -- At Gahanna
*Sept. 24 -- At Hilliard Darby